40 Bags in 40 Days: Freaky stuff you simply can't get rid of

40 Bags in 40 Days: Freaky stuff you simply can't get rid of
The Cat

Today's task was the kids' closet. I had gone through their stuff fairly recently, so it wasn't a huge job (except that I still need to figure out what to do with all my son's kindergarten art projects that are sitting there in a pile on the floor -- suggestions please!)

I got rid of a few baby blankets that I decided meant nothing to me. I bagged up some clothes to pass on to my nephew. When Baby Cookies wasn't looking, I snuck a few toys no one had looked at for a while into the garbage bag.

And then I saw The Cat. Capital T, capital C. This cat deserves that kind of respect.

The Cat is a white ceramic Persian, who used to sit on a purple velvet pillow that found its way out of the house years ago. We wound up with The Cat after John's grandmother died. She had painted the thing herself, including the eyelashes. The Cat has eyelashes to rival J-Lo on the Grammys red carpet.

After the funeral (this was, oh, ten or eleven years ago), we all went back to John's grandmother's place and started going through her stuff (which probably sounds callous, but this was down in Evansville, IN and most of us wouldn't be coming back there any time soon). We sorted through her jewelry and tchotchkes and whatnot. John and I, newlyweds at the time, said we'd take the microwave and the living room rug.

But then there was the issue of The Cat.

No one wanted The Cat. We hemmed and hawed and I don't know, I decided I wanted The Cat. For one thing, I like weird stuff. We had a statue of a chicken busting out of a teakettle in our kitchen (still do, actually). I thought The Cat would fit right in. Also, I'm a sentimentalist (who had seen Toy Story too many times). I felt like Thelma had obviously worked hard on The Cat, and that she was proud enough of The Cat to have it prominently displayed in her home. Since no one wanted The Cat, what would the fate of The Cat be? Would it wind up in a garbage can somewhere? That didn't seem fair either to The Cat or to John's grandmother.

So we brought The Cat home with us.

It lived for a while in the living room of our apartment, perched on its purple pillow. When we moved to our house, I put The Cat up in the guest room, because the purple pillow looked so fetching against the lime green walls. All was well, and continued to be well until I was pregnant with my son.

Let me backtrack for a moment. We have a dog. He's ten-years-old now. We had him in the apartment. He lived with The Cat during that time period and after we moved into our house. The Cat never seemed to bother him. Until one day.

I just remember that I happened to be pregnant at the time. I don't think that has anything to do with anything. I'm just giving you a time table. This was about six years ago. I was in the den, which happened to be right next to the guest room, when all of a sudden, my dog started going crazy. He was barking and growling and making a ton of noise (which is not terribly unusual for him; he's a good watch dog). So I ignored him for a few minutes, but it he did not let up.

Finally, I hoisted my pregnant ass out of the chair and waddled into the next room, where I found my dog, back hair spiked up like it was 1987, growling at The Cat, as if the thing were possessed.

I laughed about it, like, ha-ha, you weird dog, but he wouldn't stop and he wouldn't stop and he wouldn't stop. I had to hide The Cat in the closet, and that's where The Cat stayed (except when we'd pull it out at parties to show people how goofy our dog is).

The guest bedroom is now my kids' bedroom. The closet is their closet. And still The Cat remains. Every time I clean in there, I consider getting rid of it, but I don't. If that's shit's possessed, I don't want to anger whatever spirit lives within it. That's not gonna be on me. If we ever move out of this house, I'm sorry, new owners, The Cat stays. You deal with it.

(By the way, I pulled The Cat out today just to see how the dog would react to it. It did not go over well, especially not when my daughter started pushing The Cat toward him. If I could've read his thoughts, they probably would've sounded something like, "Oh fuck no. You keep that freaky ass cat away from me, you evil women," as he ran down the stairs.)

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